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New light bulbs stir states’ rights

March 31, 2011
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Invented in the late 1800’s, incandescent light bulbs are gradually being replaced by more energy efficient light sources, such as compact fluorescent lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).  In a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, incandescent bulbs are being phased out starting with 100-watt bulbs in 2012.  Two years later, manufacturers will have to stop making 75-, 60-, and 40-watt bulbs.  While the enormous savings in energy is not in doubt, some complain that these newer bulbs are too expensive, put out a dim light, and are slower to reach full brightness.  Republican state Rep. Bill Sandifer from South Carolina claims that forcing him to use energy efficient bulbs violates his rights.  He is co-sponsoring a bill called the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act that would allow companies to manufacture incandescent light bulbs in South Carolina and sell them within the state.  Supporters claim that the federal government could not intervene unless the bulbs were to cross state lines.  Other states, such as Arizona and Texas, have tried passing similar laws without success.  South Carolina’s bill still faces votes in the legislature and requires a governors signature, neither of which are certain.  Even if it passes, legal challenges would be likely.  Kit Kennedy, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, believes that all states are interested in conserving energy and hopes “that South Carolina sees the light.”

 

What do you think?  Should the use of energy-efficient bulbs be mandatory?

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